Encouragement, service and accountability are not things a typical college sophomore commits him or herself to. But this year, 5 groups of sophomores are chartering intentional communities that are centered around acts of service or thought that promote selfless living.
Last year, Residence Life Education and Housing offered freshmen signing up for sophomore housing a chance to join with a group of up to eight people and live in intentional communities. The groups were able to choose any dorm and skip the dorm lottery system sophomores go through to choose their dorm. However, these students had to outline a focus for their community and commit to that focus throughout the year.
“We offered them an opportunity to develop an idea for what they wanted their community to be about,” Jordan Bunch, residence director of Mabee and McKinzie Halls, said. “Each different community has a different feel. We wanted that to be organic and for students to decide what they’re passionate about as a community.”
Zeke Morgan, sophomore psychology major from Keller, is a member of an intentional community in Edwards Hall.
“Our focus is serving the ACU community to help promote a sense of unity on and off campus between the many different organizations and ‘cliques’ that are found within the broader ACU community,” Morgan said. “I am personally doing it because I have a passion for serving locally, especially other Christians that have questions about God and their faith. I want to show them I don’t have the answers. I have some of the same questions, and they are not alone in their doubts or their fears.”
Bunch, along with Jenny Butler, residence director of Gardner Hall, has coordinated the intentional communities and is working to keep them focused.
“In ResLife, we’re walking beside them in this journey,” Bunch said. “Over the summer we have done some equipping to help them get on the right track. They’ve created a document that helps them describe why they’re drawn to the community and what they love about the community.”
In this document, the communities also outlined a way to keep the members accountable to the group and to the group’s goal.
“I think that Western Civilization has become so individualistic where people are just in their own worlds,” Bunch said. “I want people to catch a new vision for how life can be. I think it’s how life is supposed to be, in community.”